Violent clashes broke out on Thursday in Rhodes as a group of about 200 individuals stormed into a hotel where Greece’s largest private-sector union, GSEE, was expected to hold its 37th conference.
Four people were reportedly injured in the clashes which, according to Giannis Panagopoulos, the head of GSEE, were instigated by members from the communist-affiliated trade union PAME. Windows were smashed, and the instigators also physically attacked participants.
GSEE condemned the “violent invasion” of the protesters and accused the Public Order and Citizen Protection Ministry of not protecting the conference. GSEE also accused them of allowing “known and unknown thugs to barge in and commit criminal offenses against life and property before the eyes of the police.”
In its own statement, PAME admitted to entering the hotel’s premises to disrupt the conference, but said GSEE unionists pretended to have been injured to justify legal action against them.
The conference is being held to select a new administration for the union. This is the second time the GSEE conference has been postponed this year, after similar clashes erupted between unionists in Kalamata on March 15.